This has to be one of the most beautiful hikes in Thailand. Eleven adventurous hikers and 2 dogs arrived at the meeting point and traveled with 2 cars and 2 motorcycles to the start of the Doi Lanka Noi circular hike in Ban Kampaeng Hin. It was 8am when we began walking along the dirt track with its 14 water crossings. Since this is the dry season all crossings could be managed easily with hiking boots on. After about an hour the trail began the steep ascent, and this continued, with a few breaks to regroup, rehydrate, and recover until we reached the summit shortly before noon.
Along the way we had tiny flowers underfoot and beautiful views over the mountain range, when we dared take our eyes off the trail.
Here we spent about 45 min. to rest and have our lunch before starting the very tricky descent. One of the dogs actually needed to be carried part way on this.
We noted that a new trail around the side of the mountain has been cut, which we assume would avoid this dangerous part of the path. Many of the hikers fell on the lower part of the trail due to tiredness and the slippery trail conditions with loose dirt, stones, and leaves, but no injuries other than bruises and scratches seem to have been sustained.
We arrived at the bottom of the mountain 6 hours after starting, but still had to walk through Ban Mae Ton and back to where the cars were parked. On the way we stopped to look at coffee bean roasting, and some of the hikers purchased the beans for 300 baht/kg.
Many thanks to Kurt Keller for leading this hike at very short notice.
Filed under: Hike Reports